The Chair in the “Commission for the Study of Climate Change” at the Congress of Deputies

The director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, Pere Fullana, has spoken on Tuesday 13th at the commission, regarding the importance of the environmental variable in the legislative system.

Pere Fullana has highlighted the importance of the life cycle assessment as an environmental analysis method to all the members of the chamber.

Pere Fullana (centro de la imagen) durante su intervención en la sesión.

Pere Fullana (center of the image) during his intervention in the session.

With the aim of introducing environmental science in the field of politics, the director of the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, Pere Fullana,spoke on Tuesday 13th February at the "Comisión para el Estudio del Cambio Climático" (“Commission for the Study of Climate Change”) of the Congress of Deputies, in Madrid. During his lecture, he informed the assistants on how to guide the legislation related to climate change and also stressed the importance of taking into account the environmental variable in the legislative activity, from the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a method to assess environmental impacts associated with products and services.

Fullana made a practical explanation based on several examples on how to include the environmental variable in the legislative system, developed at the Chair: the regulation of the change to a non-refillable packaging of olive oil in restaurants; the implications of the implementation of a mandatory Deposit and Return System (DRS – in Spanish SDDR), the main line of ARIADNA’s Project of the Chair; the debate on the logistics of fruit and vegetable boxes in relation to the type of material used; and, finally, the draft Royal Decree on plastic bags, a topic that is currently being discussed in the Parliament.

Contradicting some preconceived sustainable ideas like that “the plastic is always bad or that recycling more is always the best option,” the director of the Chair explained that “there are no good or bad materials, but more or less successful applications, and that is why the complete life cycle of products and services should be taken into account.” Furthermore, he added that “a natural product or more recycling options do not always lead to a better environmental situation.” Therefore, and focused on how science can contribute in the political activity, Fullana recommended to “implementing the ‘Pact for Circular Economy’, and using life cycle assessment as an evaluation tool and ecodesign as a tool for improvement.”

Moreover, Fullana stressed the importance of  public funding to perform research projects, and expressed the need to raise funds to two projects in which the Chair works. The first one, which started two years ago, consists of a LCA and Carbon Footprint of cities. The second, is the proposal to create a category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO aimed at generating an information repository to offer tools to raise awareness and provide education in the fight against climate change. “It is a proposal that is already in an approval phase and needs resources and institutional support to move forward,” Fullana emphasized before dismiss the chamber, stressing the importance of including environmental science in the decision and regulation process.



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